Malik, Sarfaraz, Hasan rested for West Indies series

Published December 3, 2021
West Indies players including Andre Russell (3R) and captain Jason Holder (4L) celebrate taking the wicket of Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between West Indies and Pakistan at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, central England, on May 31, 2019. — AFP/File
West Indies players including Andre Russell (3R) and captain Jason Holder (4L) celebrate taking the wicket of Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between West Indies and Pakistan at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, central England, on May 31, 2019. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik, fast bowler Hasan Ali, all-rounder Imad Wasim and wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmad were left out as the national selectors named on Thursday Pakistan’s ODI and Twenty20 squads for the home series against West Indies starting later this month.

The series comprises three ODIs and as many T20 Inter­nationals all of which will be staged at the National Stadium, Karachi from Dec 13 to 22.

Four changes were made in the 18-member team, which played the T20 series in Bangladesh last month. Only pace bowler Mohammad Hasnain has been added to the 15-man T20 squad.

From the 17 players who were available for selection for the England ODIs in July, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah and Mohammad Wasim Junior have replaced Faheem Ashraf, Hasan, Salman Ali Agha and Sarfaraz in the 17-member side, while Abdullah Shafique has been named as a travelling reserve.

Meanwhile commenting on the squads, chief selector Mohammad Wasim said: “As we have been playing T20Is since October and now have a pretty settled and balanced side, we have decided to reduce the number of players to 15. As such, we have not included Imad Wasim, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik.

“For the ODIs, which we last played in July, we have accepted the team management’s request and provided them two additional resources,” Wasim added.

“In consultation with [pace bowler] Hasan Ali and taking into consideration that he has been playing non-stop cricket since returning from a back injury, we have decided to give him time off from this series,” the chief selector concluded.

INTERIM COACHING SET-UP TO REMAIN

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided not to add any batting or bowling coach to the interim coaching set-up of the national team for the white-ball home series against the West Indies, it is learnt.

When contacted by Dawn, a PCB official said that after evaluating the situation in detail, the PCB has decided not to appoint any batting or bowling coach in place of Matthew Hayden (batting consultant) and Vernon Philander (bowling consultant), who have left the Pakistan squad one after another following their short assignments. Former Australian opener Hayden and ex-South African pacer Philander had been hired ahead of the T20 World Cup staged in the UAE during October-November. While Hayden had left the Babar Azam-led team after the World Cup, Philander left Bangladesh for South Africa after Pakistan’s first Test in Chittagong Test that ended early this week.

Considering the home series against the West Indies would be just a nine-day affair, adding any coach for such a short period may not suit the winning combination of the Pakistan squad and furthermore no one could serve the purpose in such a short time period, the PCB official said.

However, he added, after the end of the West Indies series, the PCB would review the situation before deciding to appoint new coaches keeping in view the needs of the team.

Meanwhile, responding to a question about non-payment to the contractual players of dome­stic cricket for the last three months, the official said all the payments would be made in the beginning of next week.

“It may not be necessary to appoint separate coaches for every department,” he said. “There is a possibility that the PCB will focus more on the junior teams by providing them with more coaches.”

Responding to a question regarding selecting only one wicket-keeper for the West Indies series, the official underlined as all the matches would be played in Karachi where Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches are also going on, so in case of an urgent requirement of the national team either Sarfaraz Ahmad or Azam Khan would be easily available.

“The delay [in making payments] occurred due to some administrative and clerical mistakes which should not come to pass,” the PCB official stated.

Squads:

ODI: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Hasnain, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir

T20: Babar (captain), Shadab (vice-captain), Asif, Fakhar, Haider, Haris, Iftikhar, Khushdil, Hasnain, Nawaz, Rizwan, Wasim Jr, Shaheen, Shahnawaz, Usman

Travelling reserve: Abdullah Shafique

Player support personnel: Mansoor Rana (manager), Saqlain Mushtaq (interim head coach), Shahid Aslam (assistant to head coach), Cliffe Deacon (physio), Drikus Saaiman (strength and conditioning coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Talha Ejaz (team analyst), Col Mohammad Imran (security manager), Ahsan Iftikhar Nagi (media and digital manager), Dr Najeeb Soomro (team doctor) and Malang Ali (masseur)

Series schedule:

Dec 13: First T20 International

Dec 14: Second T20 International

Dec 16: Third T20 International

Dec 18: First ODI

Dec 20: Second ODI

Dec 22: Third ODI

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2021

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